Texas counties begin speed limit change
Nov 11, 2002 12:00 PM
Speed limit signs in eight Gulf Coast counties surrounding the city of Houston are changing again. After a year of intense dissent, including becoming an issue in the just-concluded race for governor, the state highway department and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to change the speed limits in Houston and the surrounding counties. Throughout most of 2002, speed limits had been reduced to 55 mph in an attempt to reduce air pollution. However, after the limit was lowered, officials released data showing that cars and trucks did not appreciably reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen by traveling slower. Agencies also admitted that this information was available before the speed limits were lowered. On some highways the slower limit was in effect on rural highways as far as 70 miles from Houston. The state now has begun the process of changing signs raising the limit to 65 on highways that originally carried a 70 mph limit and to 60 for stretches of roadway limited to 65 mph before the imposition of the environmental speed limit. Until signs are changed, the posted 55 mph limit will remain in place. The state has 3,200 signs to change—the second change in the past 10 months.
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